Arsene Wenger announced Friday that he will be stepping down as Arsenal's manager at the end of the season after 22 years in charge.
''After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,'' Wenger said in a statement. ''I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years. I managed the club with full commitment and integrity.
The 68-year-old's departure comes as the team has struggled to maintain its place among the Premier League's elite. It missed out on the Champions League last season and is in position to miss out on a top-four place again this season. It could find its way to the Champions League by winning the Europa League, though, in what could be Wenger's last act as manager.
His announcement sparked plenty posts on social media from athletes and the soccer community who have been used to Wenger's presence in the Premier League for so long.
Arsenal is sixth in Premier League standings this year with five games to go, and Wenger, a lightning rod in recent years, will surely receive a rousing ovation at the Emirates Sunday when Arsenal hosts West Ham.